Humanity discovered the Jump Drive in the year 2116 CE. From that moment, it seemed a bright future awaited the human race. The stars were suddenly in our hands. We had the long-awaited faster-than-light means of getting from one star to another without spending hundreds of years getting there. The Human Diaspora to the stars followed. We found stars with no worlds, at first. Then we found worlds that were uninhabitable. Finally we found inhabitable worlds. Some were barren, and we seeded and colonised them. Others had life of their own and we analysed them and on finding that there were no intelligent creatures, we colonised those worlds too, eliminating species that proved harmful and replacing them with ones we could eat.
Then we came across other worlds, those that had intelligent life forms. None with technology anything like as advanced as our own. The old horror story of the invaders from space was reversed. We now became those invaders. Offering help, appearing benevolent, or at least benign, ignoring warnings from our own history and warnings from fiction written in the long forgotten past about not interfering in other cultures. And when, inevitably, some of these alien races tried to rebel against our benevolent rule, we revealed humanity's darker side, our iron fist, crushing their resistance with our superior weaponry.
In two centuries, we conquered and colonised almost a hundred worlds.
And then it happened. It was inevitable, really. We came up against a species that was our technological equal. More, they were as warlike as we. They had some strange code of values, they refused to back down where we clearly had the right. And so the first shots were fired in a war that would devastate both civilizations.
The war has been raging now for almost ten years. The enemy do not know the meaning of the word "Surrender" and do not seem to fear death. They fight to the death, and our own losses have been impossibly high, millions killed almost a billion wounded. There are prisoners, on both sides, the enemy prisoners we have captured are subdued by force when they are out of ammunition, and even then it is costly.
But of course, we Humans value our lives, we don't throw them away. "He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day". Human soldiers tend to surrender when they can no longer fight, and have nowhere left to retreat. unlike the enemy that pick up rocks and throw them, and continue to do so until they run out of rocks, and then launch themselves at us and attack with their bare hands until killed or beaten unconscious, humans will stop fighting, raise their hands in surrender.
Now, don't get me wrong, I wasn't expecting to be treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention, but the last thing I expected was to be stripped naked, have my neck bitten, although not hard, and then put in a small cage and transported to a different world, to what amounted to a zoo, where I was put in a bigger cage with a handful of other naked humans...
So far our treatment has been harsh, but no worse than (say) that meted on the American POWs by the North Vietnamese in the 1970s.
The Mrinka are a race that lives and dies by Hnahag. The closest word in the human language is honour although this does not even encompass a small part of what Hnahag actually means. Hnahag is taking only what is needed, it is standing tall like a tree not bowing down like the grass. It is killing only for food or in self defence, never for fun or in anger. It is life and death and everything in between. Our race is unified by Hnahag, unlike other lesser races that are splintered and fight amongst themselves.
We discovered the Jump Drive in your years 2016, and we set out to explore the galaxy. We found many worlds. Our sun being closer to the centre of the galaxy than yours, we found more stars and more planets. Many of them with life, many with intelligent life, but none with a technology as advanced as ours, and none who lived by Hnahag, although several races did live by some of the principals. So we educated them. And as with our own people centuries before, those that would not learn to live by Hnahag, we eliminated. This is only right. Hnahag is the only correct way to live and many of our subject races are able to see this and embrace it. More, those that do so find that their lives are improved.
In three of your centuries, we conquered and colonised over a hundred worlds.
And then, the inevitable happened: We encountered a species our technological equal. And they were more Hnahagrrr than any other race we had ever encountered. Peaceful coexistence was never even a remote possibility. Either we would conquer them, or they would destroy us.
The war has been going on now for almost twelve years (ten of yours, I believe). While the Mrinka fight and die with Hnahag, the enemy does not. They fight when it suits them, then turn and run like a herd of Ylalla. When cornered they throw down their weapons and pretend they are not soldiers, but then they bleat like fvirr when they are treated like the animals they act like.
A Mrinka knows fear, of course. Fear is a chemical reaction, programmed into the Mrinka nervous system just like all other emotions. There is nothing Hnahagrrr about showing fear. But a Mrinka does not fear death. What a Mrinka fears is dying Hnahagrrr. And to die in battle is Hnahageh, more Hnahag, were such a thing possible. We do not understand how a species as advanced as ourselves could not understand our way of life. How could they have survived? A major principle of Hnahag is embodied in the word Gjzahahra , the best translation of which is, "I am stronger than you and so I must hurt you". This concept is what allows us to kill to eat, but it also applies to those races we have conquered.
Yet the enemy do not submit as a race, but as individuals. They place their own existence above that of their species. This is both illogical and Hnahagrrr. And so when we capture these enemy soldiers, we must hurt them, we must force them to submit. We must treat them as slaves, at best, or even as animals.
This is necessary for our Hnahag!